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Brobbel still harbours ambitions of making it at Middlesbrough
RYAN BROBBEL still hopes to make it at Middlesbrough, but the 20-year-old winger admits his future is up in the air following the departure of Tony Mowbray.
Brobbel, who is currently on loan at League Two York City, produced the best performance of his fledgling career on Tuesday as his first-half double helped the Minstermen secure a 4-1 win over Scunthorpe United.
The Hartlepool-born forward is due to return to Middlesbrough in January, but with the Teessiders currently looking for a new manager, it is unclear whether he will be part of his parent club's plans in the second half of the season.
Prior to his dismissal, Mowbray had been taking a keen interest in Brobbel's development, and while the academy product is relishing the opportunity to prove himself in the lower reaches of the Football League, he remains determined to carve out a career with Boro.
“I need to wait and see who gets the new manager’s job,” said Brobbel, whose Boro contract is due to expire at the end of the season. “Hopefully, they’ll get a new manager and he will like me.
“People will have good words about me if I do well here and I’m just happy playing here at the moment and playing first-team football.
“If he (Mowbray) was still the manager, he would have been here (on Tuesday). I know a few of the staff were here - I was told - but he watches kids all the way up and he was a good manager. I really enjoyed working with him, when I got the chance.
“It’s always been a club, with the likes of Stewart Downing and Lee Cattermole, for youth players. Middlesbrough don’t have the money to go out there so they do rely a lot on their youth system. Dave Parnaby (academy manager) is highly recommended, and I really enjoy being there.”
Brobbel is one of five Boro players currently on loan from the Riverside, and along with Connor Ripley, Matty Dolan, Adam Reach and Christian Burgess, he is benefiting from regular exposure to a more competitive environment than the development matches that are the staple for most academy players.
In the past, the likes of Downing, Adam Johnson and David Wheater all benefited from spells in the lower leagues, and Brobbel agrees it is much better to be playing in matches that have a great deal riding on them.
“At the academy, it’s more about development, and here it is more passionate,” he said. “If you lose in under-21s football, it’s not so much about that as about your performance.
“I am just learning the game, really. It’s a lot more physical and I have to learn how to deal with that because I am not the biggest of lads.”
Tuesday's goals followed an earlier strike against Mansfield, and the second – a first-time volley that fizzed into the top corner – was an especially memorable strike.
“I just took a chance really,” said Brobbel. “The gaffer is always telling me to come into the box. If you don’t get in the box you are not going to score, and I’ve caught it sweetly.
“It’s only the third goal of my professional career so to score a goal like that is one of the best things I could have ever wished for. I can’t say I have scored many volleys like that before in my life. In training maybe, but it is up there.”
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